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Garden Thyme – The Virus

Garden Thyme – The Virus

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In years past I have always talked about June Bug Beatles in the month of June. This year I am going to talk about something that I should have been more aware of after being in the outdoor beautification business for as long as I have.

Sometime around the first part of January, I found myself following the news out of China about a new virus that started from bats. I had never paid any attention before to any of the viruses coming out of China and I am not sure why this one caught my attention, but something seemed a little different. Governments were acting in ways I had never seen before. Cities were being blockaded, buildings were being locked up and the citizens of China were being arrested for being on the streets. I started asking myself, why does this seem different from the viruses of the past? It was China after all but I had never seen this kind of reaction to a virus before. I was not convinced when our government told us not to worry. I was becoming genuinely concerned and finally convinced my wife that we needed to start stocking up on essential supplies.  

Some time in March it seemed that this was starting to get more serious. There were rumors of national guard mobilization and lockdowns, both local and national. 

I was starting to get concerned for my business.  If there was a lockdown would we be able to open? Would we even be able to get to the nursery to water plants? “They” said this was extremely dangerous for people with certain comorbidities. I met most of them and decided to stay home and let my employees do what they could to sell what inventory we had so we would not have to throw much away. 

They did an excellent job of selling our products while following the “rules”. We sold most of the items that were semi-perishable and finally decided to shut down even though we were considered an essential business, because we sold vegetables and fertilizers. I figured we could “make it” until next spring and that it was too dangerous to re-open. 

After 5 weeks of isolating, my wife and I had enough. My employees convinced me to re-open, but it didn’t take much effort at that point. We started reordering inventory and I quickly put together an online store so we could offer some type of curbside pickup. 

The first day we were open was an emotional experience for me. Our customers, many of whom had not been out of their homes for 4-5 weeks, were extremely happy. It was moving to hear many people say that they had been waiting for the day for us to re-open.

I had no idea that the essential part of our business was to help with people’s emotional state. It became evident to me that for many people this was a way they could stay distracted from all the negative news around them as well a break from boredom. Hopefully this will have caused many people to discover the joys of gardening.

On a similar note, it has been recognized that Vitamin D which comes from sunshine, helps the body’s immune system fight respiratory infections. So, working outside in your yard will make you feel better and protect you at the same time.

Check out our new ONLINE GARDEN CENTER!!

We have put together an ONLINE GARDEN CENTER so you can shop from the comfort of your home 24/7!

Just go to our website, www.growersoutletinwillis.com and click on the “ONLINE GARDEN CENTER” button.

It is still a work in progress with many more products and helpful gardening info to be added. 

A Garden To Do List for the month of June for our area will include the following:

*Be watching for chinch bug damage that usually starts in your grass adjacent to concrete walks and drives.

*Look out for spider mite damage on things like junipers once it starts getting hot.

*Now is a good time to plant vinca and portulaca. These are great heat lovers and easy to take care of summer annuals.

See Also

*Any of your roses that are prone to black spot should be treated on a bi-weekly basis with a product like Bonide Infuse. Don’t wait until the black spot occurs before treating. Once black spots form they will not go away.

*If you haven’t already done so, re-mulch your trees and shrubs with good quality mulch like Landscapers Pride Black Velvet mulch or pine bark mulch.

*Check your herbs and veggies on a regular basis for any damaging insects.

*Be on the lookout for whiteflies, mealy bugs and aphids. These can damage your investment in plants.

*Be alert for slug and snail damage.  Come by the Growers Outlet and pick up the correct products to use. We carry a great effective organic product that is safe for people and pets.

*If you have any stubborn broadleaf weeds you can spray them with Bonide Weed Beater for Southern Lawns now that temps are well above 80.

*If you are ready to apply your second application of lawn fertilizer use Microlife 6-2-4 organic fertilizer, Nitro Phos SuperTurf or Nitro Phos Sweet Green before the end of June.

For great gardening products and information, come by the Growers Outlet and visit with any member of our team to get the help you need or go to our website at www.growersoutletinwillis.com. We have the products and knowledge to help you have the prettiest yard on the block.

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